Take a magic carpet ride to Bourbon Street — or at least its smaller, ritzier facsimile — by stepping inside Nola. This popular New Orleans-themed joint on Ramona Street offers Southern classics like spicy jambalaya, crawfish-shrimp-and-scallop etoufee and fried-chicken-and-waffles. Wash it down with a giant Hurricane and, if you can help it, don't get carried away.
535 Ramona St, Palo Alto, 650-328-2722; nolas.com
Runner-up: The Old Pro
Move over, grown-ups. The kids, as they say, are alright, and the Palo Alto Children's Theatre, which for decades has entertained and trained thousands of young audiences and actors-in-the-making, has been voted the best venue for live entertainment in Palo Alto. Little ones (and their families) can enjoy theater al fresco, complete with picnic food, during the summer "Hot Dog Season" (starring local kids) or see pros bringing productions to life on the main stage all the year through, presenting both new works by emerging artists and versions of beloved classics. Take a bow, Children's Theatre, you've earned it.
1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-463-4930; cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/csd/theatre
Runner-up: Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Best Wireless Hot Spot
If you're looking around for a cool place to hang out and do your own thing, look no further than the Palo Alto Library for its free Wi-Fi. All branches of the Palo Alto City Library offer free Wi-Fi to users with a wireless-enabled device. It's easy to locate the wireless network PA_OverAir_Library through your web browser or your computer's wireless settings. Once you accept the use policy, enjoy free access for two hours, at which time you need to reconnect and agree to the use policy again. Wireless is available during all hours the buildings are open. No password or library card is needed to use it. Your information is not protected while using wireless, unless you are connected to a web page that employs encryption.
Rinconada Library, Palo Alto's main library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto, 650-329-2436; other libraries' locations can be found at cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/lib/default.asp.
Runner-up: Philz Coffee
Hall of Fame: Coupa Cafe (inducted: 2015)